As brands openly embrace themes of sustainability into their business models, we decided to do some research on the latest buzz word in sustainability: ‘slow living.’
The word ‘slow’ is everywhere, from the fashion industry to the mindfulness podcasts that we listen to on our way to work. Slow Living has come to define a movement that touches upon the core themes of sustainability in our everyday lives.
Slow Food - The Beginning of a Movement
The ‘Slow Lifestyle’ began with the food movement. When McDonalds arrived to Italy in the 1980s, Italian Chef Carlo Petrini and other food activists protested against the advent of the industrialised food industry. Their fear was that McDonald’s would ruin local food culture, regional cuisine, and the local food economy in Italy. Since then, the Slow Food Movement has grown into a global movement. Food education, fair labour, promoting small farmers, and seasonality are at the heart of this movement.
Local produce. Photo: Italy Magazine
Michael Pollen’s book ‘The Omnivore’s Dilemma’ and Jonathan Safran Froer’s ‘Eating Animals’ highlight the evils behind factory farming and the negative impact this has on our communities, animals, and planet. The Slow Food movement encourages us to think deeply about the food we put on our plate each night and how we can make better food choices as consumers, citizens, and activists.
The Slow Movement has trickled down into other aspects of our lifestyle. The Slow Movement encourages us to make conscious decisions in all aspects of our lives.
Slow living takes a holistic approach to adopting a lifestyle that rejects the norms of our fast-paced city lives. It’s a rejection of the notion of ‘busyness’ which has become an integral part of the Western world. A slow lifestyle encompasses a rejection of technology, being present, and living in the moment.
A sunset over the Virunga Mountains in Rwanda. Photo: @tom_parker_photographer
Slow travel ties into the slow living and slow food movement. Rather than opting for a busy vacation and visiting all the popular tourist destinations, people are choosing to bunker down in a remote area and experience the quotidian life of living in a different culture and experience.
Slow travel is all about taking the time to become familiar in a place, speak to local people, and even learn some of the language.
Slow fashion is a rejection of the constant consumption as normalised by the fast fashion industry. Fast fashion chains churn out mini-collections continuously while slow fashion brands release infrequent but timeless collections throughout the year. Slow fashion places precedence on themes like transparency, traceability, and sustainability: 1. fair labour practices in the fashion chain with an emphasis on fair trade and fair wages, 2. material awareness, using materials that minimise the impact on the planet. However, while brands can promote these themes, it’s also up to the consumer to act.
Plant-based materials for our Mexican Conscious Living Range
One way to make conscious purchases is to examine clothes before you buy them. Are the seams tightly sewn? What about the quality of the fabric? The quality of the fabric also impacts the longevity of your product: the thinner the material, the more likely your product is to break down.
Another way to enhance the longevity of your wardrobe is to take care of your things. Ironing your clothes enhances the lifeline of the material. Every city has tailors and leather artisans who are able to repair or mend the things you wear and love. Working with local tailors and artisans for repairs also puts money into the local economy.
MAGUEY Bag. Photo: @this.little.wandering
Made Slow to Last Long
At Artisan & Fox, sustainability is at the heart of our business model. Our business model focuses on ethical sourcing in the fashion chain by giving sustainable incomes to our artisan partners.
We encourage our artisans to use eco-friendly materials; our Kenya jewellery range utilises recycled brass from Nairobi while our handwoven textiles from Guatemala and Mexico are made on looms that do not release carbon emissions. Natural fibres form the basis of our Conscious Living Range from Mexico, with our artisan partners using local plants such as Maguey and Agave which are eco-friendly and biodegradable.
The Slow Living Movement invites us to challenge our daily habits and lifestyle choices to become better citizens in our inter-connected world.
Our Kenya Jewellery range features recycled brass from Nairobi
We invite you to be curious, ask questions and challenge us. Because we believe that fashion won’t change the world, but those who wear it will.
Learn more about our sustainability model here.